My Planted Tanks Using DIY CO2

I have always been an advocate for DIY CO2. I like the fact that I can stock up my CO2 ingredients and make CO2 immediately.

There are a lot of people still with the old perception that DIY CO2 is for the amateurs. They still have the idea that DIY CO2 is in soda soft drinks bottles. Today, DIY CO2 can give you the same high pressure you would get from a pressurised tank.

Well, enough said. Pictures speak for themselves.

75 Gallon “Jungle”

75 gallon grass jungle aquarium with DIY CO2.
75 gallon Grass Jungle

This has got to be a tough one for DIY CO2 users. 75 gallons is a lot of water to inject CO2 with.

Before I was running CO2 244/7, I used to run 4~6 bps using a CO2 reactor. Then I experimented with running 24/7 fine mist atomizer (similar to the NIlocG Aquatics Atomic Precision Co2 Atomizer) and a reduced light intensity.

Earlier days before it becomes a jungle.

Tank Setup

Filters: 1x Fluval 306, 1x Fluval C2
Lighting: Fluval AquaSky LED
Air pump: Aquael
Substrate: ADA Amazonia
CO2: DIY CO2 with High Pressure Canister
CO2 Injection Rate: 2 bps 24 hours non-stop
CO2 Diffusion methods: Intense Bazooka Atomizer 70mm
Dosing regime: Custom Seachem Dosing Regime
Ferts: Seachem Flourish Nitrogen/Potassium/Phosphorous/Iron/Comprehensive

I run an additional HOB filter as solely mechanical filtration. I find that the polishing pad in the 306 gets clogged within a month, and thus reducing the maintenance cycle to 1 month instead of 2 or 3 months.

So I added a HOB just for pure mechanical filtration. In it I run with the regular sponge, polishing pad, and Purigen. The Fluval C series HOB is really easy to clean. Most of the time I only need to rinse the polishing pad. Rinsing the sponge is a 1 minute job.

READ  Dealing With Algae 101

Having a HOB also helps to create surface agitation and add oxygenated water to the tank. And it doesn’t cost much to add one to a large tank.

75 gallon Grass Jungle
Lots of hiding places for the fishes and they like it.
A view from the side of the “Jungle”

24 Gallon Nature Cube

24 gallon Corner Tank

Tank Setup

Filters: 1x Fluval 206
Lighting: Chihiros A-Series
Air pump: Generic
Substrate: Tropica Aquarium Soil
CO2: DIY CO2 with High Pressure Canister
CO2 Injection Rate: 0.5 bps 24 hours non-stop
CO2 Diffusion methods: Intense Bazooka Atomizer 50mm
Dosing regime: Custom Seachem Dosing Regime
Ferts: Seachem Flourish Nitrogen/Potassium/Phosphorous/Iron/Comprehensive

I have re-scaped this tank a few times. It was a disaster initially when my wife insisted on having Goldfishes in it. Then I had a nicely planted HC hills scape which suffered a major BGA outbreaks. And finally the above is its current state.

Thick growth of HC

11 Gallon Iwagumi

11 gallon Iwugami styled tank

This is a difficult tank from the beginning. It is a low profile tank. A lower profile means there is very little depth for the CO2 bubbles to interact with the water before reaching the surface.

Tank Setup

Filters: 1x Fluval C3 HOB
Lighting: Aquael Slim LEDDY (Chihiros A-Series later on)
Air pump: Generic
Substrate: ADA Amazonia
CO2: DIY CO2 with High Pressure Canister
CO2 Injection Rate: 0.5 bps 24 hours non-stop
CO2 Diffusion methods: Intense Bazooka Atomizer 40mm
Dosing regime: Custom Seachem Dosing Regime
Ferts: Seachem Flourish Nitrogen/Potassium/Phosphorous/Iron/Comprehensive

Being low profile also means the light intensity is very high. High lights is an algae magnet. The only way to compensate is to blasts your CO2.

It once was a hairgrass scape

Rescape Process

I get a lot of people asking me how do you rescape when you still have fishes in them, or how long will it take.

READ  From Planted Tank to Marine Tank

Well, before you start pulling out your plants, please PLAN ahead. What kind of theme do you want? Work from there once you have a theme in mind. With a theme you can then select the hardscape and plants and driftwoods.

Purchase all your items except plants first. Only purchase the plant when you know you will be free to start work! You do not want your plant to have no where to go while they wait for you to be free to begin work!

More details on the rescape will be coming soon…

Day 1. Start! All fishes and shrimps were out. I kept some of the water as well as the substrate.
Rocks in! Took me some time to get the rocks looking right and not fall after filling more water.
First round of planting are the HC Cuba. CO2 running 24/7 using a in-tank reactor (on the left). Still using a generic RGB lighting.
Day 2. Water cleared after just one day. There were ammonia readings but not much.
Water is crystal clear! This is the best part of setting up a tank. Crystal clear water, no algae yet, and you wonder what it will turn into after 6 months.
A different angle. The rocks I chose were not the typical ones you would find in Iwagumi style theme.
Day 12. Algae! Talking about the devil! For HC Cuba and Iwagumi style theme, the plant mass during the initial stage is very low. Just cut back on your dosing and photoperiod. I also added a SAE from my other tank and he feasted!
Day 61. HC was growing well sending runners and spreading.
Day 82. The HC are covering up pretty well except on the right. I guess it must be the reactor I placed on the left and the right of the tank received significantly lesser CO2. Noticed I have switch to a atomizer and place it right under the HOB for better diffusion. Also my new Chihiros A-Series had arrived!
6 months later. A full HC Cuba carpet! Moved the Neon Tetras to the 75 gallon tank and introduced a Betta!! Moved the HOB to the middle for more even water flow.

16 Gallon Nature

A 16 gallon Work-in-progress tank in my office.

This tank is for my office. It is still work in progress.

The woods were superglued to the rocks so that when I started to fill the tank they would not float.
The Tropica tissue cultured plants are really awesome. I have never failed to grow anything I purchased so far. I have my lights running for them for 5 days while I waited for my ADA substrate to arrive.
Day 1. I was never fond of a dry start method. Filled the tank partially with water first so when the soil is wet and heavy it will hold the plants.
Planting was completed in under an hour.
Filled up and cycling! My Chihiros RGB has got a new stand! The original ones were crappy. I wanted to have some Orange Shrimp and they needed open space for feeding, so I left the foreground empty.
Day 6. Looking well but tank was still cycling. Waiting for the magical 5th week to come.
Day 9. Plants were doing really well. No sign of algae 😆
Day 33. Hydrocotyle tripartita carpeting really well in the background.
Day 71. Plants were exploding out! Repen were experiencing some deficiencies. Added some moss as well.
Nice and clean. No algae from day 1. Moved my Betta from my 11 gallon from home to here.

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial